If you’re here reading this, you know that how difficult it is to earn air miles.
It takes the skill of a bomb technician, the brain of Beth Harmon of The Queen’s Gambit, and the luck of Meredith Grey, who eludes death a million times more than any typical doctor.
You get the gist.
Your parents will tell you how easy they had it in the good old days; all they needed to do was sign with their airline for some discounts.
Today’s market is the Hunger Games world for card issuers. These companies compete with excellent offers, thousands of air miles, and lots of cashback.
Which air miles credit card would be best? It is important to note that air miles credit cards are different from rewards credit cards.
If you want the best value for your money and a free trip, keep reading the article below. We’ll analyse the seven best ways to make the most of your air miles credit card in just a few easy steps.
1. Consider The Card’s Partner Airlines
If you don’t do that, you’re going to waste your money. Even a credit card that boasts the most attractive discounts on the market is useless if you’re not redeeming those miles.
So, consider your most frequent destinations and which airline will bring you there. You’ll probably find two or three options.
Next, look on their websites to see who they’re partnering with.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you’re flying a lot in Malaysia, where you spend extended periods for work or vacation. In this case, Maybank Family and Friends is a practical choice because of its generous discounts and cashback. The drawback is that you won’t earn air miles per se, but these rebates compensate for your loss and more.
If you’re flying with SIA, consider a KrisFlyer air miles credit card. American Express and UOB are worthwhile alternatives for average spenders. However, UOB is better for perk-hungry Millennials, whereas American Express is better for people who dislike bargain-hunting.
If you want to find out how far you can fly with SIA, click on the air miles calculator here.
Regardless of your end choice, factor in:
- Where you’re flying to the most
- Your monthly expense budget
- What you most like to do overseas
- What you’re usually spending money on
All these methods will help you earn credit card miles easily.
For some, they might prefer a staycation instead of an overseas vacation. You can find the best hotel staycation deals here.
2. Claim Missing Miles
When you pack your bag in a hurry or let your kid play with your wallet again because it keeps them quiet for ten minutes, you can misplace your card. It happens to the best of us.
The good news is air miles credit cards aren’t like supermarket coupons. Or like lottery tickets. Thus, you can go about your flight and enjoy your time wherever you’re travelling.
Once you’re home, look for your missing card. Next, get in touch with your airline and reclaim those miles. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the seamless customer service that most companies in Singapore practice.
3. Use Travel Credit Cards
An excellent solution to earn miles rapidly is to use your credit card for daily shopping. At least, that’s what many banks hint to.
They urge you to charge your daily cup of coffee on your credit cards, buy your clothes through partner platforms, or use them to pay utility bills. Some air miles credit cards offer significant rebates and cashback for these purchases. Besides, expenses that go over a certain minimum threshold bring you more rewards: waived annual fees and thousands of air miles.
For example, DBS Altitude Visa gets you 10,000 air miles, bonus miles for each dollar spent, plus all sorts of free perks if you’re charging $25,000/year on your card.
This approach sounds fantastic in theory. But if you’re going to do it, you’ll have to remember two things:
1. Never charge things you can’t afford on your credit card. If you can’t repay the balance each month, you’ll dive into a pool of debt.
Later on, you might find yourself seeking debt consolidation loans to help yourself.
2. Never buy things you didn’t plan on buying anyway. It’s easy to lose rein in your shopping when you’re animated by a win. Just make sure that success is more significant than any potential loss.
4. Pay With Your Credit Card Overseas
The majority of card issuers who exchange miles per dollars offer more miles when you’re spending money abroad. The usual programme gets you 1 mile/$1 spent in Singapore and 2 miles/$1 spent abroad.
If you’re on a holiday, you’ll definitely be spending a lot.
This point is crucial because you can win twice as many credit card miles abroad. Many people who travel for business or pleasure to other countries will spend more money than at home. That’s because either you’re renting more cars or taking more cabs, eating out more frequently, or pampering yourself more often.
However, try to avoid the trap of over-spending for the sake of those miles. Go about your shopping habits as usual without trying too hard to earn air miles.
KrisFlyer UOB Credit Card is different; their miles have the same value in Singapore and overseas. Besides, you can get 3.1 air miles for each dollar you spend.
The catch? These are KrisFlyer miles.
5. Consider Paying Your Card’s Yearly Charges
Some air miles credit cards hook people with a no-fee policy. For example, UOB One Card has no fees for the first twelve months. Maybank Friends and Family waivers its costs for the first three years! And the list can go on.
Other card issuers adopt a different policy: charge a minimum amount on your credit card, and you won’t have to pay any fees. OCBC 365 promises that to customers who use their cards for minimum purchases of $10,000.
These discounts are excellent for people with average or low expense budgets who aren’t flying that much.
But, if you’re a frequent flyer, paying your card’s yearly charges gets you more air miles than other purchases. Reimburse your DBS Altitude Visa or UOB’s charges, and each dollar you spend with them gets you over 50 air miles.
Again, this strategy is best for people who travel often.
6. Check Sign-Up Rewards
Use an air miles calculator to evaluate various perks and discounts you receive when activating your card. Evaluate:
- Other rewards you’ll get on the way down
- Any required minimum purchases
- Discount codes you’ll have to use
- Promotion deadline
For example, American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Card gives you 5,000 KrisFlyer miles if you’re purchasing things of at least $3,000 during the first month.
Look out for big-ticket purchases! If you’re buying a new sofa or remodelling your nursery, you can jump at their offer. But if your monthly expense budget is lower than that, consider another programme. Buying these things will easily earn you a ton of credit card miles.
The same card issuer has two more alternatives: an Apple Air Pod, probably for Gen Z-ers or $180 cashback for conscientious family types.
7. Shop Online
What would we do without online shopping? With the Covid pandemic, online shopping has helped bring convenience to so many people.
Many people in Singapore use the internet to buy things or book hotels. Even basic commodities such as food. Some of them also prefer contactless payments too because of the increased convenience and sanitary advantages.
If that’s you, the world is your oyster. For instance, Krisflyer Spree is an excellent platform to get more KrisFlyer miles. Alternatively, OCBC Frank doesn’t restrict your channels and boasts 6% discounts for online shopping and contactless paying.
If you read this article, you now know seven useful tricks to maximise your credit card’s advantages. You also understand that getting more miles and more discounts shouldn’t be your goal.
Instead, you should take an analytical approach to compare various air miles credit cards. Write your monthly expense budget and income. Jot down all of your purchase to understand your spending habits. Consider where you’re flying to most often – that’s if you have a favourite destination.
Next, shortlist some credit cards that fit your lifestyle. Use an air miles calculator to compare these options and choose the right one for your needs.
If in the most unfortunate situation, you are in credit card debt, don’t be disheartened. There are ways to get out of your credit card debt. Lending Bee offers credit card consolidation loans to help our customers tide through difficulties.